Early this week, the Chicago area experienced abnormally cold weather that had a significant impact on the schedules, schools, and safety of millions. We learned that the villain was something most of us had never heard of before, the Polar Vortex (or the Arctic Oscillation). “It is a circulation of strong winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counterclockwise direction; a polar low-pressure system. These winds are of sufficient velocity to keep the bitter cold air locked and loaded over the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.” On occasion, this vortex can slow down and become distorted and dip much farther south than you would normally find it, which is exactly what happened this week. I like how one meteorologist pictured it when he said that the polar vortex “wobbled.” He explained that usually it spins around the North Pole region like a top; and just like a top that begins to slow down wobbles, so the vortex wobbled.
I know that most people do not think like this, but it got me thinking about my life. What kind of negative impact do I have when I wobble? I am not describing my physical walk (hopefully I am not wobbling yet), but my spiritual walk. I think of when Aaron wobbled and made a golden calf which led Israel into idolatry; when Moses wobbled and struck the rock for water instead of speaking to it as God commanded and was kept from entering the Promised Land; when David wobbled that night on his rooftop when he saw Bathsheba taking a bath and which led to adultery and murder, or when he wobbled and took the census and caused a plague of punishment to fall on Israel; when Joash wobbled into unfaithfulness at the death of his trusted counselor Jehoiada and then killed the prophet sent to warn him of his disobedience; when Gehazi wobbled and took the reward from Naaman that Elisha refused, and then lied about it and became a leper.
I could keep on with this litany of wobbles, but I need to make application to myself. I know when the velocity of my love for God slows down and I become distracted by things other than God’s Word and my desire to apply it to my life— it is then I begin to wobble. My love grows cold and I have the potential of being a negative impact on others. I know when that happens and can feel it in my soul. It is at that precise point I need to do something and not let the wobble continue. The most important thing I can do is to preach the gospel to myself. It drives me to repentance (not penance) and to the gracious sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins. Do not misunderstand— I am not saying that I become a Christian all over again. What I am saying is that for the wobbling Christian, repentance and belief in the gospel is in the present tense. The same gospel that saves us is the same gospel that sanctifies us. The repentant heart is the sign of new life and the blood of Jesus Christ “cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
So are you wobbling? Do something about it lest you become a hazard to yourself and others around you. Repent and believe the gospel!